Government to Axe ‘Unnecessary’ Websites

Government to Axe ‘Unnecessary’ Websites
The government is to conduct a review of all 820 of its websites, Cabinet Minister Francis Maude has announced.

A report by the Central Office of Information has revealed that the government spent £94m on website development and running costs and £32m on web staff in 2009 – 2010.

The UK Trade and Investment website averaged 28,000 users per month but cost over £4m to build said the COI.

Each site visitor cost the government £11.78 according to the figures.

Around 16% of government departments did not know how their own websites were being used by tax payers, and almost a quarter were not aware of the running costs, according to the COI report.

In 2007 the BBC reported that the government was to axe 551 websites, protecting 26 from closure.

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China to Get its Own domains

China to Get its Own domains
Chinese people should soon find it easier to browse the web as domain names written in Chinese win approval.

Net address overseer Icann has approved the creation of domains that use only Chinese characters.

The decision builds on earlier work to create internationalised domain names (IDNs) using with non-Latin characters.

The first IDNs were for Arabic scripts and Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the first to register domains using them.

Icann said firms in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan would soon be issuing domains for people and organisations within their countries that are written with all Chinese scripts.

“One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people,” said Icann head Rod Beckstrom in a statement.

He said the decision goes some way towards addressing the contradiction that 60% of the net’s users are non-native English speakers yet the dominant language online is English.

This is because when the domain name system was set up addresses, such as the familiar .com and .uk, were written only with Latin characters.

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Passwords in Google Street View Data

French find E-Mail Passwords in Google Street View Data
Google scooped up sensitive data such as passwords when putting together its Street View service, suggests an early look at the information.

The examination was carried out by French data protection agency CNIL as it decides whether to prosecute the search firm for gathering the data. The data was gathered as Google logged wi-fi hotspots to help it develop location-based services.

Previously, Google said there was “no harm, no foul” in collecting the data.

CNIL, like many other data protection agencies worldwide, asked Google to hand over copies of the data it gathered to find out if privacy laws had been breached. CNIL chairman Alex Turk said Google handed the data to the agency on 4 June following an official request and it was now in the process of combing through the reams of information.

Google said it was working with the French authorities and many others and would delete the information it had gathered if asked. “We have reached out to the data protection authorities in the relevant countries, and are working with them to answer any questions they have,” a Google spokesperson said. “Our ultimate objective is to delete the data consistent with our legal obligations and in consultation with the appropriate authorities,” added the spokesperson.

Google has defended its collection of the data saying it was done “accidentally”. Google boss Eric Schmidt said there was “no harm, no foul” in collecting the snippets of information. “Who was harmed? Name the person,” Mr Schmidt said at during an interview at the company’s annual Zeitgeist conference held in Watford in mid-May.

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Click Clever. Click Safe

Follow the Code to Stay Safe Online
The internet opens up a wonderful world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge. To help your children to enjoy it all safely, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety has developed the Click Clever, Click Safe code.

The code has three simple actions: `Zip it, lock it, Flag it’.

It’s easy to remember when talking to children about online safety and it’s designed to help keep them safe on the internet.

ZIP IT    
Keep your personal stuff private and think about what you say and do online.

Block people who send you nasty messages and don’t open unknown links and attachments.

Flag up with someone you trust if anything upsets you or if someone asks to meet you offline

TaLk to your kids about the Click Clever, Click Safe code — to help them to enjoy the internet safely.

For advice on internet safety go to

Apple. The IPhone 4 Launch

Apple & the IPhone 4 Launch
Apple tried to put the genie back in the bottle at its sold-out Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC, when it launched the latest version of its iPhone , the iPhone 4.

The problem for the company was that the technology blog Gizmodo had stolen a lot of Apple’s thunder weeks ago when it released a flurry of photos and videos of a prototype of the phone which was left in a bar.

Even though Steve Jobs acknowledged the event indirectly, he refused to utter Gizmodo’s name and tried to imply he wasn’t bothered by the whole affair by joking with the audience “Stop me if you’ve seen this before”. In a bid to raise expectations above those set by the blog, he quipped “Believe me, you ain’t seen this.”

Next Generation Internet Explorer

Next Generation Internet Explorer offers Faster Browsing
The next version of the Internet Explorer browser will offer much smoother graphics than its predecessor, Microsoft has said. IE9 will offer faster JavaScript performance and support for the HTML5 standard, meaning that it won’t be limited by the capabilities of plug-ins such as Adobe’s Flash.

IE9 will be able to work a computer’s graphics processor to its limits, offering much faster and smoother visuals, the company said, after it released a second developer preview of the browser.

“The IE9 Platform Preview shows the significant performance gains that web pages enjoy when a browser takes full advantage of the PC’s hardware capabilities,” said Dean Hachamovitch of Microsoft. However, the company has previously stated that IE9 will not be compatible with Windows XP and will only run on the Windows Vista and Windows 7 platforms.

Meanwhile, a report from web-monitoring firm Net Applications showed that Microsoft is losing ground in the browser market to Google. IE’s share has slipped to under 60 per cent while Chrome’s share grew from 6.1 per cent to 6.7 per cent in April.

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